Different multilayer structures of Nb2O5/Ag/Nb 2O5 have been deposited onto flexible substrates by sputtering at room temperature to develop an indium free transparent composite electrode. The effect of Ag thickness on the electrical and optical properties of the multilayer stack has been studied in accordance with the Ag morphology. The critical thickness of Ag to form a continuous conducting layer is found to be 9.5 nm. A new conduction mechanism has been proposed to describe the conduction before and after the critical thickness. The effective Hall resistivity of the optimized films is as low as 6.44 × 10-5 Ω-cm with a carrier concentration and mobility of 7.4 × 10 21 cm-3 and 13.1 cm2 /V-s, respectively, at the critical Ag layer thickness. The multilayer stack has been optimized to obtain a sheet resistance of 7.2 Ω/sq and an average optical transmittance of 86 at 550 nm without any substrate heating or post-annealing process. The Haacke figure of merit (FOM) has been calculated for the films, and the multilayer with a 9.5 nm thick Ag layer has the highest FOM at 31.5 × 10-3 Ω-1, which is one of the highest FOM values reported for TCE deposited at room temperature on a flexible substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103113
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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